Friday, November 22, 2013
Ballard Is Taking Parks And Recreation's Ron Swanson A Bit Too Seriously
Apparently, Mayor Greg Ballard's speechless cameo appearance during the filming of a recent episode of the NBC comedy series "Parks And Recreation" at Lucas Oil Stadium has consumed him a bit too much. Ballard is adopting the character Ron Swanson's view that the fictional town of Pawnee's parks and recreation director that all city government functions should be privatized. Yes, Mayor Ballard's administration is soliciting proposals to privatize some or all of the city's parks and recreational facilities, the funding and support of which have been one of his lower priorities since becoming mayor in 2008. Actually, this isn't the first time this idea has surfaced. Early in Ballard's first term, we learned that the administration had awarded an exclusive real estate agreement with controversial real estate broker John Bales for the disposal or leasing of "surplus" park properties owned by the city. The administration quietly cancelled the contract with Bales after learning he was under investigation by the FBI. I used to support privatization of some government services until I figured out that it had nothing to do with delivering government services more efficiently and had everything to do with expanding white collar patronage for the political cronies of the politicians in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors.